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Consumers look to mobile for purchasing decisions: study

June 15, 2011

A shot of the Flixster app

Mobile is rapidly energizing as the go-to device for purchases with 62 percent of consumers turning to their smartphone at the beginning of the buying process, per a study by Lightspeed Research.

The data, sponsored by Flixster, shows that smartphone users use mobile devices for 35 percent of their research when buying big-ticket items. The study also found that consumer mobile device habits differ greatly during the work week and weekend, with more than two-thirds of smartphone owners using apps and the Internet for planning weekend activities between Thursdays to Sundays each week.

“The study proves that mobile devices are quickly replacing personal computers,” said James Smith, chief revenue officer of Flixster, San Francisco.

“These numbers show that people are using mobile devices to plan everyday activities today, not two years from now,” he said.

Additionally, the research found that the top uses for consumers on weekends were research, product price comparisons and product reviews. In comparison, news and business apps rank high for smartphone users from Mondays to Thursdays.

The study also shows that smartphone users are using their mobile devices for shopping for everyday items.

Flixster is an online movie destination with film reviews, trailers and databases.

Lightspeed Research is an online market research firm.

Flick phone
The study found that not only are users interacting with different apps and tools during the weekend compared to the work week, they are also using them in a way that integrates with their lifestyle.

The research found that when going to a movie, 58 percent of people surveyed use their smartphones to research nearby restaurants and 36 percent of people research shopping spaces.

“Our study found that people were combining apps and used several tools together to do one activity, such as going to the movies,” Mr. Smith said.

“By using smartphones to buy movie tickets, shopping and finding a restaurant, it shows that users behavior is very natural,” he said.

“The majority of people we surveyed viewed their smartphones as the primary tool for planning weekend activities.”

Rest in PC
The research is proof of a larger trend within mobile marketing – smartphones are slowly making desktop computers obsolete.

In the study, four out of ten people said they prefer their mobile devices to coordinate with their friends via social networking.

In addition, the study found that users interact with different apps based on the day of the week. This is proof that companies need to start thinking differently about mobile devices.

“Sixty-eight percent of the people said that they view digital apps as a primary avenue for shopping,” Mr. Smith said.

“Because of this, companies need to think of how their apps can interact with consumers during both the weekend and work week,” he said.

“During the weekend, consumers use their smartphones as the universal tool for planning activities, so companies need to think how their apps can work with other apps and not just as a single location for consumers.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is staff reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York

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